Abbott and Costello Go to Mars (1953)

abbott and costello go to mars poster 1953 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 7/10

Like the cheesy old serial style visuals

Typical Abbott and Costello humor

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  Abbott and Costello Go to Mars

Studio:  Universal Pictures

Genre(s):  Comedy/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):  April 6, 1953

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

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Mardi Gras is quite lame by Hollywood standards

When Orville (Lou Costello) sneaks onto a base working on an experimental rocket, Orville and one of the workers named Lester (Bud Abbott) find themselves spirited away by the rocket.  Believing they have travelled to Mars, Lester and Orville find themselves in New Orleans during Mardi Gras where they pick up a couple of bank robbers named Harry the Horse (Jack Kruschen) and Mugsy (Horace McMahon) who steal the rocket.  Now, Lester and Orville are headed to space, but Mars might not be their final destination.

Directed by Charles Lamont, Abbott and Costello Go to Mars is sometimes called Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Go to Mars.  Following Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd in 1952, the movie has been collected a number of times and combines elements of science-fiction with the standard comedy of Abbott and Costello.

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Which one of you wants to serve the king first?

Despite the “Go to Mars” title, the only actual space destination in the movie is Venus.  Like all of their films, Abbott and Costello is a very acquired taste and isn’t for everything.  That being said, I found this entry in the Abbott and Costello series a kind of fun adventure.

The movie is ridiculous, but from the concept, you can’t expect much more than absurd humor.  Parts like Abbott and Costello’s adventure in New Orleans (which they believe is Mars due to the Mardi Gras costume) leads to an actual space adventure and very Flash Gordon or Buck Rogers, Venusian women who want to make Lou their king.  It is all tongue-in-cheek, but if you watched other ’50s sci-fi, it has some great parodies…Also, I do like how some of the writing has everyone knowing everything about space travel like the kids at the beginning of the film.

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We’re the Bizarro Abbott and Costello!

Lou Costello and Bud Abbott still seem to work great together.  The group was only a couple of years away from break-up but you wouldn’t know it from their comedic timing which is still on time.  There is less playing to the camera by Lou in this movie than some of the other films.  The movie also has another duo in Jack Kruschen and Horace McMahon who are almost the anti-Abbott and Costello since they are a criminal comic team.  Mari Blanchard is also good as the icy Venusian Queen Allura.  There is also a small cameo by The Simpsons’ Harry Shearer as a boy.

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The dreaded “Chastity Balloon” test…

Visually, I also like this movie a bit more than some of the others.  I like old serials and this movie has that style.  The space costumes involves a bowl over their heads and the Venus set is backdrops and glamorous women (who were actually Miss Universe contestants)…it feels like it is a throwback even for 1953.  The Venus cars in the film also were used in the classic This Island Earth.

Abbott and Costello Go to Mars was a fun entry in the Abbott and Costello series.  I like the sci-fi aspect of the story and the irony that no one actually reaches Mars.  Fans of old sci-fi should check out the movie for some laughs and nostalgia.  Abbott and Costello Go to Mars was followed by Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (also released in 1953).

Followed By:

Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1953)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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